St. John's Red Storm

The St. John's Red Storm is the nickname used for the 16 varsity athletic programs of St. John's University, in the U.S. state of New York. St. John's 16 NCAA Division I teams compete in the Big East Conference, with the exception of the fencing team, which compete in the ECAC. On December 15, 2012, St. John's and the other six Catholic, non-FBS schools (the so-called "Catholic 7") announced that they were departing the former Big East for a new conference.[2] The "Catholic 7", after purchasing the "Big East" name from the FBS schools and adding Butler, Creighton, and Xavier, began operating as the new Big East Conference beginning in July 2013.[3][4]

St. John's Red Storm
UniversitySt. John's University (New York City)
ConferenceBig East Conference
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorMike Cragg
LocationNew York City, New York
Varsity teams16
Basketball arenaCarnesecca Arena, Madison Square Garden
Baseball stadiumJack Kaiser Stadium
Softball stadiumRed Storm Field
Soccer fieldBelson Stadium
MascotJohnny Thunderbird
NicknameRed Storm
Fight songFight For Old St. John's
ColorsRed and White[1]

The athletic program fields sixteen intercollegiate teams: basketball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, and fencing for men and basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis, track and field, cross country, golf, and fencing for women. In 2002, the university eliminated five men's athletic teams and one women's team in order to comply with Title IX rules prohibiting activities that receive federal assistance from discriminating on the basis of gender.[5]

Prior to the 1994–95 school year, the university's nickname was the St. John's Redmen, which referenced the red uniforms worn by its teams in competition. The name was interpreted as a Native American reference in the 1960s, and the university did have a mascot (adorned in Native American dress), which eventually led to the team's name change to the Red Storm. The change happened at a time when there was mounting pressure on colleges and universities to adopt names more sensitive to Native American culture.[6][7] The Redmen name still remains popular among fans, however, as does "Johnnies". On September 18, 2009 the new mascot, which was voted on by students, was revealed; Johnny Thunderbird.


Men's sports Women's sports
BasketballCross country
Track & field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.



St. John's is the 7th most winningest program in college basketball history (1686 wins),[8] St. John's boasts the 7th-most NCAA tournament appearances (27), two Wooden Award winners as national player of the year, 11 consensus All-Americans, 6 members of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, and has sent 59 players to the NBA. However, St. John's currently holds the NCAA Division I record for most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship appearances without a championship. The Red Storm play most of their home games at Madison Square Garden, "The World's Most Famous Arena", while their early non-conference games are held at Carnesecca Arena on the St. John's campus in Queens.[9] St. John's University holds the second best winning percentage for a New York City school in the NCAA basketball tournament (second to City College of New York - which won the 1950 NCAA Division I Championship[10]). St. John's has the most NIT appearances with 27, the most championship wins with 6, although they were stripped of one due to an NCAA infraction.[11] The 1910–11 St. John's team finished the season with a 14–0 record[12] and was retroactively named the national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.[13][14] In 2008, St. John's celebrated its 100th year of college basketball.

On February 21, 2011 the men's basketball team was voted into the top 25 in the AP and ESPN Coaches poll. This was the first time the team had been ranked since the end of the season in 2000.

The basketball team is the most popular collegiate basketball program in New York City and has a world-wide following. There are numerous fan forums that support the basketball program, in addition to all of the university's teams. The most popular is which often leads the mainstream sports media in breaking news regarding its sports teams.


The women's basketball team is coached by Joe Tartamella, who became the head coach in 2012.


St. John's won the 1996 NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship, made four appearances in the NCAA College Cup (1996, 2001, 2003 and 2008) and reached sixteen NCAA post-season tournaments, including fifteen straight from 1992 to 2006. The Red Storm also reached ten consecutive NCAA Tournament Rounds of sixteen from 1996 to 2005. Under Coach Masur, the Red Storm have also won seven Big East Tournament titles, six regular season crowns and has qualified for eighteen consecutive Big East tournaments. Their home games are hosted at Belson Stadium, a state of the art 2,168 seat stadium on the university campus, which sells out often.[9] In 2006, the men's soccer team became the first American soccer team to be invited to play in Vietnam. The team played against several Vietnam Football Federation squads as well as participating in community service.[15]


The St. John's baseball team, currently coached by Ed Blankmeyer, has been to the College World Series six times, recorded 34 NCAA appearances, 8 Big East Championships and have sent 70 players on to professional baseball careers. The team plays at the 3,500-seat Jack Kaiser Stadium, dedicated in 2007 to the Hall of Fame Coach and former St. John's Athletic Director. The stadium is one of the largest college baseball stadiums in the northeast, and is a featured venue on the EA Sports MVP NCAA Baseball video game. The stadium was conceived out of a deal between the university and the Giuliani administration. The administration wanted to find a location for a single-A team that would be affiliated with the New York Mets. Expressing concern about quality of life issues and the spending of public money for a private religious institution, surrounding neighborhood civic groups and local politicians protested the plan. In order to placate their concerns, however, the Mets offered to open it up to the communities for local high school games and youth programs.[16] This stadium was built despite large protests by community residents as well as State Senator Frank Padavan[16] (while also using city financing)[17] The Red Storm played the first ever game at the Mets' new ballpark, Citi Field on March 29, 2009.

Big East Regular Season Championships: 1987, 1991, 1992, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2015 (8)
Big East Tournament Championships: 1985, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1997, 2010, 2012, 2015 (8)
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1949, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 (36)
College World Series Appearances: 1949, 1960, 1966, 1968, 1978, 1980 (6)


The St. John's fencing program has also attained national prominence including Olympians Keeth Smart and Ivan Lee. In 2001, St. John's won the NCAA Fencing Championship. The team has ranked in the top five each of the last 10 years, and finished 2nd in the NCAA during 1995, 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2010 seasons. In addition to team accolades, St. John's has won 22 NCAA individual national championship titles.[9] Israeli Olympian Tomer Or is a coach of the team.


The men's golf team have won 10 Big East conference titles: 1979, 1981–84, 1986–89, 2014.


St. John's discontinued its varsity football team in 2002.


NCAA team championships

St. John's has won two NCAA team national championships.[18]


In spring 2009, St. John's allowed its students to vote on what the new official Red Storm mascot would be. At a soccer game in fall 2009, members of the Athletics Department announced that a Thunderbird had received the majority of votes and would become the new mascot. After a vote, the new mascot was named Johnny Thunderbird. He can be seen at many of the school's athletic events, cheering on the Red Storm.[19]

St. John's Athletics Hall of Fame

In 1984, St. John's established an athletics hall of fame with 10 charter members representing a cross-section of the school's athletic history.

Class Number of Inductees List of Inductees
1984-8510Larry Bearnarth, baseball; LeRoy Ellis, men's basketball; Tom Farrell, track and field; James Freeman, men's basketball coach; Lynn Burke, swimming;
Joe Lapchick, men's basketball coach; Frank McGuire, men's basketball and baseball coach; Dick McGuire, men's basketball; Walter T. McLaughlin, athletic director; George Seewagen, tennis coach
1985-8610Harry Boykoff, men's basketball; John Duenzl, track and field; Matt Galante, baseball; Tony Jackson, men's basketball; Max Kinsbrunner, men's basketball;
Kevin Loughery, men's basketball; Jack McMahon, men's basketball; Nancy Midwinter, swimming; Philip Reilly, fencing; Bill Ward, track and field coach/intramural director
1986-8710Frank Briggs, rifle; Lou Carnesecca, men's basketball coach; Jack Garfinkel, men's basketball; Hy Gotkin, men's basketball; Ling Ling Hou, women's basketball;
Jack Kaiser, baseball coach and athletic director; Andrew Levane, men's basketball; Mickey Rutner, baseball; Alan Seiden, men's basketball; John Warren, men's basketball
1987-885Sue Bretthauer, women's basketball; Reggie Carter, men's basketball; Pete Close, track and field; Sonny Dove, men's basketball; Bob Sheppard, announcer
1988-896Tito Balestrieri, rifle; Mel Davis, men's basketball; Andre Deladrier, fencing coach; Sal Ferrara, baseball; Dr. Carl Fields, track and field; John "Doc" Gimmler, head athletic trainer/golf coach
1989-906Kim Thomas Barnes (Carter), track and field; Rev. Henry Honsberger, moderator of athletics; Bob Kaczmarek, baseball; Billy Schaeffer, men's basketball; Joseph Schneider, track and field; Peter Toennies, swimming
1990-916Gerry Bush, men's basketball; Oneitha "Nene" Davis, track and field; Timothy Hanlon, track and field; William McKeever, men's basketball; Kathleen Murphy-Meehan, women's basketball; Mike Proly, baseball
1991-926Frank Alagia, men's basketball; Steve Bartold, track and field coach; Debbie Beckford, women's basketball; Ed Bertram, tennis; John Gallagher, men's basketball; Marty Satalino, baseball/men's basketball
1992-936Mike Diffley, golf; George Johnson, men's basketball; Joseph Lang, track and field; Milt Rosenbaum, baseball; Maryanne Persan-Torellas, track and field; James White, men's basketball
1993-946Herb Hess, equipment manager; Bob McIntyre, men's basketball; Rev. Robert Rivard, moderator of athletics; Constance Darnowski-Stoll, track and field; Solly Walker, men's basketball; Ed Waters, baseball
1994-956Gerald Calabrese, men's basketball; Jack Curran, baseball/men's basketball; Al "Dusty" DeStefano, men's basketball; Rev. W. Graham, administrator; Bartholomew Nnaji, track and field; Randi Samet, fencing
1995-965Bill Cimmillo, football; Bill Esposito, sports information director; Richard Krempecki, swimming; Barbara Perry, tennis; David Russell, men's basketball
1996-976John DaSilva, hockey; Dr. Irving Glick, team physician; Billy Paultz, men's basketball; Bob Ricca, football coach; Frank Viola, baseball; Virginia Young-Coleman, track and field
1997-986Dennis Bligen, football; Jack Carew, cross country; John Franco, baseball; Frank Gilroy, men's basketball; Rev. Edward Kiernan, moderator of athletics; Dorothy Pace-Giordano, women's basketball
1998-99no induction ceremony held
1999-20006Sonja Fitts, track and field; Sabrina Johnson, women's basketball; Roger "Dutch" Ouderkirk, assistant football coach/equipment manager; Ron Rutledge, assistant men's basketball coach;
Tom Sowinski, baseball; Glenn Williams, men's basketball
2000-018Joe Brodeth, fencing coach; Gil Hodges, honorary inductee; Erin McDonnell, softball; Ken McIntyre, men's basketball; Rich Napolitano, baseball;
Anthony Russo Jr., football; Jackie Smith, women's basketball; Bill Wennington, men's basketball
2001-02no induction ceremony held
2002-03no induction ceremony held
2003-045Cozette Ballentine, women's basketball; The Belson Family (Jerome, Maxine, and Tad Belson), contributors; Dr. David Masur, men's soccer coach; Michael Ricigliano, baseball; 1996 Men's Soccer Team, men's soccer
2004-05no induction ceremony held
2005-06no induction ceremony held
2006-07no induction ceremony held
2007-08no induction ceremony held
2008-09no induction ceremony held
2009-10no induction ceremony held
2010-11no induction ceremony held
2011-12no induction ceremony held
2012-1310Walter Berry, men's basketball; Cristin Burtis, women's soccer; Huey Ferguson, men's soccer; Courtney Fitzgerald-Cardot, softball; Youree Spence-Garcia, track and field;
Dolores Dixon-Grevious, women's basketball; Keeth Smart, fencing; Arlene Stevens, fencing; The Taffner Family (Donald and Eleanor Taffner), contributors; Anthony Zito, football
2013-147Rich Aurilia, baseball; Fred Bischoff, men's soccer; Mike Bolger, lacrosse; Adriana Burke-Viola, women's soccer; Wioleta Leszczynska, volleyball; Janet Roos, women's basketball; Malik Sealy, men's basketball
2014-157The Brennan Family, contributors; Tina Loven, fencing; Chris Mullin, men's basketball; C. J. Nitkowski, baseball; Erik Scharf, tennis; Andrew Svoboda, golf; Kia Wright, women's basketball
2015-16no induction ceremony held
2016-17no induction ceremony held
2017-18no induction ceremony held
2018-19no induction ceremony held

Notable athletes


  1. Primary Colors (PDF). St. John's University Athletics Style Guide. June 21, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  2. "Seven schools leaving Big East". December 15, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  3. Liz Clark (March 19, 2013). "'New' Big East prepared to make its formal introduction". Washington Post. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  4. Staff (March 20, 2013). "New Big East adds Butler, 2 others". ESPN. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  5. Finley, Bill; Lilly, Brandon (December 14, 2002). "COLLEGES; St. John's Cites Fairness In Cutting 5 Men's Teams". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  6. "A Winning Tradition".
  7. "The Curse of Chief Wahoo: Enabling Racist Imagery". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03.
  9. "St. John's RedStorm Sports -- We are St. John's -- Traditions -- Traditions". Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
  10. "ESPN Classic - Explosion: 1951 scandals threaten college hoops".
  11. "St. John's gets two years of probation".
  12. "St. John's season-by-season results". Sports Reference LLC. 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  13. "NCAA Division I Mens Basketball – NCAA Division I Champions". Rauzulu's Street. 2004. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  14. ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. p. 532. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2.
  15. "St. John's Signs Historic Agreement with Vietnam". St. John's University. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  16. Bagli, Charles (February 19, 2000). "Queens Groups Plan to Sue To Stop a Baseball Stadium". The New York Times. p. 1.
  17. Bagli, Charles V. (February 19, 2000). "Queens Groups Plan to Sue To Stop a Baseball Stadium". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  20. "St. John's - People Finder". Archived from the original on May 15, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
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